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  1. #1
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    I came home. Two will not.

    Folks,

    I had posted recently about my goals for the half-marathon in Philadelphia today. The half was run at the same time on an overlapping course with the full marathon.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    Goals for the event:
    • actually start
    • actually finish
    • finish without serious injury
    • finish within 4 hours, 52 minutes -- that's how long it took for the last person in my sex/age group to finish last year.
    I completed my run in 3:30.

    But I can't be entirely "hey, look at me!" proud about this: two runners collapsed and died on the course. One, a college student, collapsed just after he crossed the finish line. Another gentleman, running the full marathon, collapsed a quarter-mile from the end.

  2. #2
    Senior Member funrover's Avatar
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    Congrats to you, sorry about the others!

  3. #3
    Neil_B
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    CNN report:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/20/us/pen...ths/?hpt=hp_t3

    Jeneralist, congratulations. I wish I were congratulating you under happier circumstances.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sherilinn's Avatar
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    I always worry about that.

    Congratulations but I'm sorry about the others

  5. #5
    Commuter
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    They died doing something they enjoyed.
    Commuting to work on my 2008 Gold Kona Blast Deluxe Hardtail

  6. #6
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    how did they die?

  7. #7
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    how did they die?
    I don't know yet, and I'm not sure anyone does: there hasn't been enough time for an autopsy, and I'm not sure the families will consent to have them done.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer is rounding up the usual suspects:
    A police spokeswoman said both men appeared to have suffered heart attacks.

    Cardiologists said that was unlikely, particularly with a 21-year-old victim. More plausible, they said, was that the younger man, and maybe the 40-year-old runner, had undetected heart problems that were exacerbated as their blood-sugar, potassium, and sodium levels dropped drastically during the race.

    "I keep telling people, if they're a runner, they should, in fact, get a checkup and make sure they understand their risks," said Alfred Bove, a Temple University cardiologist who has run marathons.
    Meanwhile, I'm not sure about the sugar/sodium/potassium hypothesis. There was Gatorade available every mile or two, and (as I understand things) runners generally don't "hit the wall" (ie, run out of glycogen stores) until mile 20 or so -- so it wouldn't have been a factor in the half marathon.

    If I find out more, I'll let you know.
    Last edited by jeneralist; 11-21-11 at 04:36 AM.
    - Jeneralist

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  8. #8
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    It's not unprecedented - didn't the original "Marathoner" do the same thing?
    Craig in Indy

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Several years ago an older man collapsed and died during the race while running with his daughter. Talk about traumatic.

  10. #10
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    I don't know yet, and I'm not sure anyone does: there hasn't been enough time for an autopsy, and I'm not sure the families will consent to have them done.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer is rounding up the usual suspects:


    Meanwhile, I'm not sure about the sugar/sodium/potassium hypothesis. There was Gatorade available every mile or two, and (as I understand things) runners generally don't "hit the wall" (ie, run out of glycogen stores) until mile 20 or so -- so it wouldn't have been a factor in the half marathon.

    If I find out more, I'll let you know.
    A big factor is general physical condition. How many people run these things without training properly?

    As for Gatorade being available, if cyclists skip rest stops on century rides, why wouldn't runners bypass the fluids?

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    It's not unprecedented - didn't the original "Marathoner" do the same thing?
    If you're thinking about Jim Fixx (The Complete Book of Running), he had a congenital heart condition and was a 2-pack/day smoker for quite some time before taking up running in his mid-30s. He had >70% coronary blockage in 3 arteries. Personally, I find it amazing that he accomplished as much as he did.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    If you're thinking about Jim Fixx (The Complete Book of Running), he had a congenital heart condition and was a 2-pack/day smoker for quite some time before taking up running in his mid-30s. He had >70% coronary blockage in 3 arteries. Personally, I find it amazing that he accomplished as much as he did.
    No he's referring to the original Greek marathon:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon#History

    The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon (in which he had just fought), which took place in August or September, 490 BC. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won.') before collapsing and dying.

  13. #13
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Congrats on finishing!

    Sad about the other two. As the Philidelphia Inquirer speculated, there may have been undetected heart issues that would have eventually manifested in some fashion.
    '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    From the CNN article:

    Unlike some other marathons, the Philadelphia Marathon "is open to all competitors" as participants do not have to have a qualifying time to enter, according to the race's website.
    Opens themselves up for situations like this. It's easy to hear that thousands and thousands of people run marathons and think "I can do it too!", and just jump in without being properly trained. Such a shame though.

    Congrats Jeneralist, I am fairly certain I would not be able to run a half-marathon. One hell of an accomplishment.

  15. #15
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    One hell of an accomplishment.
    Absolutely, and I neglected to offer my congratulations to Jeneralist. Way to go!
    Craig in Indy

  16. #16
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    Congrats.

    How did you feel afterward? For the record: A couple of beers is the best after-race tonic.

  17. #17
    invisible friend seenoweevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen fork View Post
    They died doing something they enjoyed.
    ^This.
    Faster than a sundial.

  18. #18
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen fork View Post
    They died doing something they enjoyed.
    I don't want to die biking or swimming or driving, or cruising the internet, all of which I enjoy. I want to die in my sleep. Which I also enjoy.

    Congratulations on a fine run Jeneralist.

  19. #19
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    Maybe they were just traditionalists.



    Congrats on your run. I hate running, but this nagging in the back of my mind keeps telling me I should pick it up long enough to complete 1 'big name' marathon (e.g. Boston, NY, Philly), and 1 Iron Man - then never run again.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Laserman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I don't want to die biking or swimming or driving, or cruising the internet, all of which I enjoy. I want to die in my sleep. Which I also enjoy.
    Dying in my sleep seems kind of boring, I think I would rather pull a Nelson Rockefeller.
    Set phasers to butt-whup!

  21. #21
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frozen fork View Post
    They died doing something they enjoyed.
    I'd feel better if I thought that were true. What if they just died doing something they thought would help keep them healthy?
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  22. #22
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    Not to be morbid, but it may seem that way anyway. I used to be a volunteer EMT, and had a great instructor (amongst a bunch that really varied). One of his comments was "EMTs don't save lives, they merely prolong death." I've taken that to heart, and point out to others that "you will die" and that it's merely a question of when. None of us are promised ANYTHING with respect to quantity or quality of life, so each day and each marathon is a bonus.

    Regardless, it's not your fault, so feel proud of your accomplishments (finishing, and waking up the next day).

  23. #23
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    Judy

    Congrats on the finish, j-

  24. #24
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laserman View Post
    Dying in my sleep seems kind of boring, I think I would rather pull a Nelson Rockefeller.
    Passing like Timothy Treadwell is also interesting, if rather grisly. Personally I couldn't bear it.

  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    I'd feel better if I thought that were true. What if they just died doing something they thought would help keep them healthy?
    That's not why people run marathons, Jeneralist. People who run to keep healthy run much shorter distances. Much like people who ride a few, or ten, or thirty miles. One doesn't need to put one's body through something as rigorous as a century or a marathon to maintain or improve health. They had to be enjoying the hobby to attempt something like that.

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